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Freedom Founts

Source Materials About Freedom


1. Who thinks his great achievements poor
    Shall find his vigour long endure.
    Of greatest fulness, deemed a void,
    Exhaustion ne'er shall stem the tide.
    Do thou what's straight still crooked deem;
    Thy greatest art still stupid seem,
    And eloquence a stammering scream.


3. Constant action overcomes cold; being still overcomes heat. Purity and stillness give the correct law to all under heaven.

Legge's Comments

洪德, 'Great or Overflowing Virtue.' The chapter is another illustration of the working of the Dào by contraries.

According to Wú Chéng, the action which overcomes cold is that of the Yang element in the developing primordial ether; and the stillness which overcomes heat is that of the contrary Yin element. These may have been in Lǎozǐ's mind, but the statements are so simple as hardly to need any comment. Wú further says that the purity and stillness are descriptive of the condition of non-action.